Yoga Research Foundation

Excerpt of the address delivered by Swami Satyananda on the occasion of 14th Foundation Day of Bihar School of Yoga at Sivanandashram, 24 January, 1977

People are coming to Munger from all over the world in order to learn yoga, not only Hindus but people from all religions and walks of life. Today, everyone from king to beggar is perplexed, restless and wants to learn yoga, to concentrate the mind, in order to find peace and free their body and mind of disease and tension. This is why our small ashram is transmitting the message of yoga to the whole world.
All the top scientists and doctors, whether from America or the socialist countries, are engaged in this research. From my own investigations I found that through meditation, japa, mantra, kirtan, asana and pranayama, changes take place within the physical body and within the mind.
Today, hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent to open yogic research centres all over the world. However, there is no adequate medium to convey the latest yogic research and its implications to the people in a form which can be understood by all. For this reason the Bihar School of Yoga has started a Research Coordinating Centre.
Many of my sannyasin disciples are doctors, engineers, philosophers and psychologists. Being highly trained, they have a basic understanding of all the scientific yogic research going on around the world. Through them whatever research is being done on yoga, east and west, will be brought here, correlated and conveyed in a readable form to the people.
Our aim is to convey information about all the investigations going on in the world. How are alpha waves produced while doing kirtan? How does japa influence blood pressure? What is the effect of relaxation on the mind? What does science have to say about yoga?
Over the last five hundred years we have forgotten our yogic culture and spiritual knowledge has nearly disappeared. Today, however, there is a great yogic renaissance going on around the world and spiritual knowledge is again manifesting.
Finally, to all yoga lovers, I express the wish that they may share their knowledge and experience with us in the form of assistance and co-operation, so that we can impart this knowledge to the maximum number of people through our new research coordinating centre.

—Swami Satyananda

In 1984 Swami Satyananda founded the Yoga Research Foundation at Ganga Darshan. This institution aims to provide an accurate assessment of the practices related to all different branches of yoga so that yoga can be established as an essential science for human development.

Activities of Yoga Research Foundation

YRF initiated many projects over the last seven years. Some lasted between one to five years and most of them culminated in 2009 and 2010. The years 2011 and 2012 are assigned for scoring, data-entry, analysis and reporting.

Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

YRF collaborated with BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited) at its industrial site in Bhopal, conducting research on yogic management of disease. BHEL runs a multi-disciplinary hospital exclusively for its staff, retired staff and their families. Two projects were carried out in 2006 and 2007. The first project was on asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) where for one year the effects of Satyananda Yoga on the subjective symptoms and objective clinical parameters were studied.

In the second project of one year, the effects of Satyananda Yoga on patients suffering from hypertension were studied, taking into account the subjective symptoms and objective clinical parameters.

These research studies were analysed and reported locally at BHEL, Bhopal, in 2008 and 2009. In 2011 the data was reanalyzed using state of art statistical software.

Indore, Madhya Pradesh

In July 2004, a five-year project was launched in two schools in Indore with the co-operation of the local Satyananda Yoga Kendra to study the effect of Satyananda Yoga on the onset of puberty. A total of ninety-two children were enrolled in the project, forty-six in the yoga group and forty-six in the control group. Each year some students changed school and new students joined. Students were studied every six months in regard to puberty and sexuality, physical and intellectual growth, academic performance and management of emotions, especially fear, insecurity, hostility and violence. The data was scored in 2010 and 2011.

Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Satyananda Yoga Centre, Chennai, created an opportunity to conduct a research project on adolescent school children. In March 2009, YRF launched a one-year project with students of classes X and XII. The study looked at the effects of yoga practices on memory, concentration, pre-examination anxiety, linear intelligence or the reasoning faculty, self-confidence and menstrual problems. Six hundred seventy-three students were recruited in the experimental yoga group and five hundred twenty-nine in the control group.

Post data collection was completed in April 2010. Initial computation showed very good response. The final analysis was postponed as the research project continues for two more years.

BYMM

The children of BYMM Munger wanted to experiment on themselves and study the effects of Satyananda Yoga on the growth and development of children. YRF helped them conduct the study in designing, planning, yoga syllabus and training in the use of sophisticated research equipment, tests, data collection and scoring. The six-month project was carried out in 2008 and 2009. Two hundred children completed the study period successfully in the yoga group and an equal number in the control group. The majority of data scoring was completed in 2010. The data entry and analysis was carried out in 2011.